Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
Jeff Reed doesn't have a ton of time on his hands these days, but on Friday he had an afternoon free after attending a morning funeral. He changed out of his suit, put on some sweats, and went to a Charlotte-area park to "get the leg loose."
Just in case the Pittsburgh Steelers call.
The former Pittsburgh kicker has become quite popular over the past couple of weeks, as Josh Scobee has struggled after being traded from the Jaguars to the Steelers. Scobee's two misses on Thursday night were the difference in a gut-punch of a home loss to the division-rival Baltimore Ravens. "I feel like I let the team down," Scobee told reporters after the loss. "It's not something I want to ever remember doing."
On Friday he brought up the mischief without being asked.
"Pittsburgh weather," he said.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – September sacked a lot of quarterbacks.
The news of Andrew Luck's shoulder ailment put a wretched bowtie on a month that claimed Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo to injuries. Other passers, like Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford, are banged up as well.
September also revealed some galling offensive line play in places like Philadelphia and Miami and yes, Indianapolis. It's too facile to say poor offensive line play leads to quarterback injuries (especially in Dallas), but it's not a stretch to say pro football's blocking issues are putting offenses and seasons at risk.
"What you end up seeing is a lot of panic," said former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley. "There are pockets of players at a very high level. But there are more and more players and teams that aren't very good."
Two major culprits have compounded this problem: the preponderance of the spread offense at the collegiate level, and the reduction of offseason practice time at the pro level.
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Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
Murmurs rippled throughout college football when Ohio State coach Urban Meyer admitted he had no idea who his starting quarterback was after three games.
Should it be Cardale Jones? Should it be J.T. Barrett? Doesn’t Meyer have to settle on one?
Sure, the old football truism is “if you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.” And the Ohio State offense hasn't looked crisp after an opening romp against Virginia Tech. Toggling back and forth between Barrett and Jones seems unwise, as neither feels secure and a certain offensive rhythm is lost. Momentum seems to depend on routine, and the quarterback sets the routine.
Yet Meyer’s own coaching history strongly suggests the two-quarterback rule can be broken.
Most college football fans know Meyer used Chris Leak and Tim Tebow during Florida’s national championship run in 2006. The fan base had strong views on who the starting passer should be – remember the jeers for Leak? – but both fared fine. Better than fine. Both fared seamlessly. And when Braxton Miller got hurt in Meyer’s first year in Columbus, Kenny Guiton stepped in without a blip. The team went undefeated.
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Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago
It's a dream come true … in every way but one.
Jay Ajayi grew up wanting to play at Wembley Stadium. He was born in London, and he grew up an Arsenal fan. (His dad used to work for FIFA.) Ajayi imagined himself rushing out onto the pitch at one of England's soccer meccas with the crowd roaring. What he didn't imagine was rushing out as a football player – the American version. He had no idea what the sport was.
"I didn't know about American football in England," he said in August. "I learned about American football when I moved to the States. I moved to the States in 2000. I didn't play until 2003."
A dozen years later, he's a rookie for the Dolphins, on his way to London, where his team will face the New York Jets on Sunday at Wembley.
But Ajayi won't be playing; he broke his rib in the preseason. And his thoughts on this game, given to Yahoo Sports before his injury, are bittersweet now:
"I've never even been to Wembley," he said. "For a homecoming to be like this, it will be very special to me. It's a little ironic to me – a fitting tale to my story, very surreal."
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago
PHILADELPHIA – Chip Kelly traded away LeSean McCoy, let Jeremy Maclin get away and gave away DeSean Jackson.
The worst crime, though, might be what he's doing to the star who's wasting away here.
DeMarco Murray had two yards rushing in a 20-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, his former team, on Sunday. He mustered only nine yards rushing last Monday against the Atlanta Falcons. This poor early showing is hardly because last season's rushing champ has lost his talent in one summer. It's because of Kelly's offense – or lack thereof.
"They got a lot of weapons," said Murray's former teammate, Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey. "I just don't think they use them all right."
Sunday was a catastrophe for the Eagles. The vaunted Kelly offense was by turns bumbling, jumbled, inert and inept. Quarterback Sam Bradford looked like a rookie, throwing only one garbage-time touchdown against two interceptions, one of which happened in the end zone on a second-and-goal. He had a fumble and somehow led the team with nine rushing yards.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago
PHILADELPHIA – Tony Romo called Jerry Jones, who at the time was in the visitors' suite at Lincoln Financial Field when he learned the news.
"We both were sick," Jones said.
Romo's broken left clavicle, sustained in the third quarter here Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles as he scrambled for a fumble, is the same injury that shelved him for the season in 2010. It came on a similar play, a crunching tackle that drilled Romo shoulder-first into the turf. Romo winced immediately after hearing a pop. He mouthed, "It's broken," on his way to the locker room. He was right.
Is the season broken too?
Jones said he felt "about as low as a crippled cricket's ass" when he saw Romo lying on his back again. He wasn't alone.
As the Cowboys walked off the field Sunday, having crushed the rival Eagles 20-10 to go 2-0 on the season, it was hard to sense what they had truly accomplished. Two division wins also bequeathed two season-threatening setbacks. Few of the Cowboys smiled, or spoke, as the players entered the victorious locker room.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago
Sonny Dykes met Rob Gronkowski on a recruiting visit in 2007, and he remembers the décor of Gronkowski's spartan dwelling as much as anything. The prep star was living with his dad in a mostly empty apartment in Pittsburgh, after moving from the Buffalo area the year before.
"We walk in and it's pretty cool," says the Cal coach, who was an offensive coordinator for Arizona at the time. "Gordy, his dad, he's a piece of work. He's got a bench press and a leg press machine sitting in a living room. We did the whole interview with my legs on the leg press."
This is another in the growing list of Gronkowski tales, virtually all involving either sheer strength or sheer goofiness – sometimes both. Fans are equally mystified by the tight end's ability to catch everything thrown at him and then dance in the end zone (or after the game) like only the worst athlete possibly could. After scoring three touchdowns in the Patriots' season opener last Thursday, Gronkowski arrives in Buffalo this weekend as one of the most dominating and entertaining people in the NFL.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago
TAMPA, Fla. – The hopes escalated as rapidly for one side as the concerns did for the other. Marcus Mariota, on his first NFL regular-season drive, tossed a long touchdown pass to Kendall Wright. Moments later, Jameis Winston, on his first NFL drive, threw a pass that defender Coty Sensabaugh saw coming, intercepted and ran into the end zone.
The Tennessee Titans cornerback ran straight to Mariota on the sideline and said, "We both got our first today!"
Mariota grinned. It was 14-0. And two thoughts crept over the stadium and anyone watching the game:
"The Titans got this pick right." And, "Did the Bucs get this pick wrong?"
"I don't think we had no drops at all," Titans wide receiver Harry Douglas raved. "He was putting the ball right in our hands, right when we could catch it."
But there may never have been a Week 1 game that engendered as much belief and disbelief as this one did.
"He was the only pick for this organization," Douglas said of Mariota. "He was the best pick for this organization."
"Whichever way he went," Sensabaugh said, "I knew I could undercut him."
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 24 days ago
She was on her way back from a funeral when she got the call from her pastor. Tyrell had been injured. It looked like it might be serious.
Shamikka Cameron wanted very much to be at her son's first high school football game on Friday, but her cousin, Trell Brown, had passed away suddenly, and so she and her other two children went across the Louisiana border to Texas to say goodbye. Back in Franklin Parish, Tyrell wrote "RIP Big Cuz" on his socks and proudly placed his feet into brand new $143 cleats his stepfather bought for his big night.
"I didn't even fuss over the cost," Shamikka said. "Everything he asked for, he deserves it."
She drove back through the night, back toward her tiny Louisiana town, and sadness fell over her.
"My phone wasn't ringing," she said. "So I already knew."
Tyrell Cameron was rushing down the field on punt coverage late in the Patriots' opening game when he collided with a blocker and fell to the ground.
His coach, Barry Sebren, didn't see the play; he was gathering his offense. But he knew, too.
"I knew it was bad," he said.
But Shamikka doesn't blame the sport.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago
TAMPA, Fla. – It may be a long time before we learn how good Jameis Winston really is.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive line caved in around the rookie quarterback on Saturday like a torn umbrella, leaving Tampa's No. 1 pick to limp off the field on a sprained ankle and leaving offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to lose sleep after a 31-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
"Bottom line," Koetter said Monday, "we stunk."
According to Pro Football Focus, Winston was pressured on 40 percent of his drop-backs, and had a quarterback rating of 0.0 when pressured. Now Koetter and head coach Lovie Smith have to decide whether to risk hurting Winston's ankle further in a meaningless fourth preseason game against Miami this week or risk sending him out against the Tennessee Titans in the season opener with no further experience in game situations.
As if all that wasn't bad enough, the Titans play the same 3-4 defense under Dick LeBeau that Winston saw on Saturday against the Browns. Koetter promised it would be a "pressurefest."
Oh, and rookie offensive lineman Donovan Smith also has an ankle injury, and didn't practice Monday.